ERS technical standard on bronchial challenge testing: pathophysiology and methodology of indirect airway challenge testing

In this standard the ERS task force provides an updated description of the pathophysiology and the methods to conduct indirect challenge tests. Because indirect challenge tests trigger airway narrowing through the activation of endogenous pathways that are involved in asthma, indirect challenge tests tend to be specific for asthma and reveal much about the biology of asthma, but may be less sensitive than direct tests for the detection of airway hyperresponsiveness.

This standard provides recommendations for the conduct and interpretation of hyperpnoea challenge tests such as dry air exercise challenge and eucapnic voluntary hyperpnoea that provide a single strong stimulus for airway narrowing. This technical standard expands the recommendations to additional indirect tests such as hypertonic saline, mannitol and adenosine challenge that are incremental tests, but still retain characteristics of other indirect challenges.